Tyler Childers: Tiny Desk Concert Tyler Childers writes songs about hard lives and hard love with direct heart and a soulful Kentucky drawl.

Tiny Desk

Tyler Childers

Tyler Childers writes songs about hard lives and hard love with direct heart. You meet these characters — some from his own life, some not — and feel like you know them, but there's always another layer to uncover with each listen, carved by his coarse and soulful Kentucky drawl.

In his performance at the Tiny Desk, we meet a miner and the consequences of addiction ("Nose on the Grindstone"), Childers' own in-laws ("This is a song about the first time I got snowed in with my in-laws," he says, expecting a laugh, and giving it a beat. "It's not a blues song, it's a love song"), and the love of his life, "Lady May." Only the closing song comes from last year's Purgatory, his proper debut record, produced by Sturgill Simpson. The others are regular features in Childers' live repertoire for now, but lived in and alive, ready for us to dig deep.

Set List

  • "Nose on the Grindstone"
  • "22nd Winter"
  • "Lady May"

Credits

Producers: Lars Gotrich, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Dani Lyman; Production Assistant: Joshua Bote; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Summer Walker plays a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 13, 2019 (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Summer Walker

One week after releasing a record-shattering studio debut, the Atlanta native brings a glowing R&B set to the Tiny Desk.

Taylor Swift performs during a Tiny Desk concert on Oct. 10, 2019. (Bob Boilen/NPR) Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Taylor Swift

As she settled in for this stripped-down set, Taylor Swift looked out over the office. "I just decided to take this as an opportunity to show you guys how the songs sounded when I first wrote them."

Brittany Howard plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Brittany Howard

The Alabama Shakes singer and guitarist brought an eight-piece backing band to the Tiny Desk for a set of deeply personal and affecting songs.

Charly Bliss plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Bob Boilen/NPR). Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Charly Bliss

The vibrancy of the band can feel childlike and candy-coated. But the group's songs are more about the pain of entering adulthood and leaving some of that sweetness behind.

Sharon Van Etten performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Sept. 23, 2019. (Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Sharon Van Etten

Nearly a decade after her first appearance at the Tiny Desk, Sharon Van Etten returns with a full band and a bigger, bolder sound.

Molly Sarlé plays a Tiny Desk Concert. Shuran Huang/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Shuran Huang/NPR

Molly Sarlé

After performing at the Tiny Desk as one third of the group Mountain Man, Molly Sarlé returns for a soul-stirring solo performance.

The Jonas Brothers play a Tiny Desk Concert on August 15, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Jonas Brothers

The brothers and their backing band gave a playful performance of three tracks from their latest album, Happiness Begins.

Josh Ritter (center) performs with Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell at a Tiny Desk Concert on Aug. 27, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Josh Ritter With Amanda Shires And Jason Isbell

In his second visit to the Tiny Desk, Josh Ritter had America on his mind. "We all have to fight against this notion that we're not all human beings."

Ari Lennox plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Ben de la Cruz/NPR). Ben de la Cruz/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ben de la Cruz/NPR

Ari Lennox

The R&B singer performed songs from her debut full-length, Shea Butter Baby.

Rosanne Cash plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Rosanne Cash

Roseanne Cash has been making great records for forty years, but she's never played or written better music than she's doing right now.

Back To Top